New Tool Tracks Environmental Impact of Recycling in Closed Loop System
Petoskey, MI – Many businesses engaged in recycling do so based on a philosophy of care for the environment, for social responsibility and for economics. However, it’s been difficult to quantify the impact that their recycling practices are actually having on the planet. Now, that has changed with the introduction of the Petoskey Plastics Recycling Scorecard for customers that purchase products made with their recycled blown plastic film.
Working with nationally recognized sustainability consultants, Petoskey has developed a system of calculating the impact its closed-loop recycling partners are having on the environment. The company is measuring and providing documentation, free of charge, to their customers on landfill diversion, carbon footprint equivalents, emission offsets, and water savings. The data are based on the level of recycled content supplied within film and bags purchased from Petoskey.
“The program is a first for the blown plastic film industry,” said Jason Keiswetter, Petoskey Plastics Executive Director of Marketing, Research & Development. “Sustainability scorecards are not new, but they are typically more focused on internal sustainability practices such as recycling or energy saving measures. This is the first robust, proactive effort we have seen that is specifically targeted at customers purchasing products with recycled content. Moreover, the reporting highlights their involvement in a closed loop recycling program.” Petoskey is offering the program at no cost to its recycling partners in retail, distribution, shipping, automotive and other sectors.
The scorecard is based on a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach to measuring sustainable practices. Typically, an LCA measures energy use, raw materials consumption, air emissions, water effluents and solid wastes along the entire life cycle of a production system – from the initial extraction of natural resources to the final disposal of wastes. The Petoskey scorecard is unique in that it calculates pounds of carbon emissions saved in purchasing plastic film products with post-consumer recycled content (PCR).
In one scorecard example, a major retail chain saved close to 6 million pounds of CO2 entering the atmosphere through its partnership in Petoskey’s closed-loop recycling program. The scorecard also includes information on what that figure represents in real terms. In this case, over 91,000 gallons of water saved and the equivalent of over 36.6 million miles not driven by vehicles with internal combustion engines – which in turn translates to over 4,000 barrels of oil, or 195,000 gallons of gas not consumed.
“This new scorecard gives our customers and closed-loop partners the advantage of evaluating the actual impact of their purchasing and sustainability efforts, and communicating them in a way that investors, employees and their own customers can easily understand,” added Keiswetter. “Making a commitment to sustainable practices requires an investment, and this provides a quantitative evaluation of the return on that investment to the environment.”
As the plastics industry places greater importance on business and consumer recycling of plastics products, everyone can benefit from measuring results, according to Kim Holmes, Director of Recycling and Diversion at SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. “With its pioneering efforts in closed-loop recycling and development of products containing PCR, Petoskey Plastics has long been a leader in the blown plastics film industry,” said Holmes. “This unique scorecard once again proves Petoskey’s leadership and can serve as a model for others in the industry.”
About Petoskey Plastics
Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement. Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee. Learn more at PetoskeyPlastics.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org